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Kentucky College for Women

Collection Outline
Digital Archives

See Centre College Digital Archives - Women for digitized versions of selected items from the following inventory


Kentucky College for Women (KCW) can trace its origins back to 1854 when the state legislature granted a charter to "earnest Christian men who desired for the young women, not only of this community, but of the state at large, educational advantages similar to those afforded young men in the historic Centre College." The school was to be known as Henderson Female Institute. A board of trustees was elected and efforts began to raise funds for the new institution and select a site. In 1859, the college began erecting a four story brick building, and in the same year selected Professor A. E. Sloane as its president. The school opened in September, 1860, under a new name - Caldwell Female Institute - and with high hopes for a rapid expansion.

The Civil War delivered a harsh blow to the young institution as the school struggled to attract students and remain solvent. Sloane resigned in 1864, and Professor Augustine Hart assumed the presidency for one year. Rev. L. G. Barbour succeeded Hart in 1865 and brought the school into new-found prominence. Barbour resigned in 1874. Later that year the school came under the control of the Second Presbyterian Church. In 1876, the institution underwent another name change, and would now be known as Caldwell Female College.

Catastrophe struck in April 1876 (during the presidency of Professor Hussey), when Caldwell's building and most of its contents were destroyed by fire. The insurance money from the fire gave the trustees some hope of reopening the school, but the school remained closed until 1880 when Caldwell purchased the property of the Danville Classical and Military Institute (current site of Danville High School). Finally, in September 1881, Caldwell reopened with Rev. John Montgomery as president. In 1885, Caldwell consolidated with another local girls' school, Bell Seminary, retaining the name of "Caldwell Female College." The name apparently was shortened to Caldwell College as early as 1887.

Charlotte A. Campbell took over as president in 1886, and served until 1897, when she was succeeded by Dr. John C. Ely. Ely served until 1902, to be succeeded by John C. Acheson - the only Caldwell president to serve two terms. During Acheson's first term, the school grew and a major building program was instituted which resulted in the construction of the gymnasium, Morgan Hall, and East Hall. In addition, the curriculum was expanded beyond elementary and college preparatory work to include fully accredited Junior College work.

In 1913, the charter was amended and the school became "Kentucky College for Women." During the same year Princeton Collegiate Institute of Princeton, Kentucky consolidated with KCW in Danville. When Acheson resigned in 1914, Mrs. Richer served a very brief term and M. Marshall Allen assumed the presidency in 1915.

By 1922, KCW offered four years of standard college work leading to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Acheson returned to the presidency in 1922, and the college seemed to be prospering as never before. Still, funding problems remained, and Acheson resigned in 1925. Paul B. Boyd was named president in 1925, but KCW's days as an independent institution were numbered.

In 1926, the school opened as a department of Centre College, and formally consolidated with Centre in 1930. The Women's Campus closed in 1962 when the two campuses consolidated and the women students took up residence in the new dormitories on Main Street.

Collection Description

The collection of the Kentucky College for Women, despite the size, does not provide any comprehensive view of the school's history. The bulk of the collection concerns the correspondence of Presidents Acheson and Allen, and for the most part consists of routine business. The correspondence will give some insight into difficulties the school faced (notably its considerable financial problems) but often has a relatively low information content. The researcher is far more likely to find useful information in the minutes of the trustees, annual catalogs, yearbooks, faculty minutes (as late as 1931), class records, or even assorted pamphlets and photo booklets concerning KCW. Researches should bear in mind that, in general, materials concerning the college following its consolidation with Centre in 1926 may be located in relevant Centre record groups.

Collection Inventory
CC-100 Official and Legal Records
Series A Charters
Folder 1Charter and amendments to charter, related incorporation documents, dates inclusive 1854-1923
Folder 2Agreement for consolidation between Princeton Collegiate Institute and Kentucky College for Women ("working copy"), not signed or dated; amendment to agreement, June 5, 1923
 NOTE: See also CC-4 Centre Official Documents and Legal Papers, particularly Series 4A and 4F
Series B Deeds
Folder 1Deeds concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1904-1907
Folder 2Deeds concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1917-1921
Folder 3Deeds concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1922-1923
Series C Contracts and Agreements
Folder 1Contracts and agreements concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1905-1915
Folder 2Contracts and agreements concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1919-1922
Series D Mortgage Documents
Folder 1Mortgage documents concerning KCW, 1914-1915
Series E Miscellaneous Documents
Folder 1Miscellaneous official documents and legal papers, undated and dated 1923
CC-101 Board of Trustees
Series A Correspondence
Folder 1Correspondence, Board of Trustees, undated, and dated 1900, 1902
Folder 2Correspondence, Board of Trustees, 1903-1905
Folder 3Correspondence, Board of Trustees, undated, and dated January-September 1906
Folder 4Correspondence, Board of Trustees, October-December 1906
Folder 5Correspondence, Board of Trustees, January-July 1907
Folder 6Correspondence, Board of Trustees, October 1907-December 1910
Folder 7Correspondence, Board of Trustees, January 1911-December 1914
Folder 8Correspondence, Board of Trustees, 1915
Folder 9Correspondence, Board of Trustees, January 1916-November 1919
Folder 10Correspondence, Board of Trustees, February 1920-May 1923
Folder 11Correspondence, Board of Trustees, June 1923-September 1925
Series B Minutes
Folder 1Miscellaneous minutes, extracts from minutes and resolutions of the Board of Trustees, KCW, undated, and dated 1916-1925
Volume 1Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Henderson Female Institute, July-November, 1858
Volume 2Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Henderson Female Institute, Caldwell Female Institute, Caldwell Female College, Caldwell College, 1858 (includes minutes from Volume #1), 1858-1866; 1871-1874; 1880-1898 (with gaps). Also serves as account book/financial journal for the college, 1858-1871
Volume 3Minutes of the Board of Trustees, Caldwell College, Kentucky College for Women, 1902-1925
Series C Princeton Collegiate Institute
Folder 1Miscellaneous papers concerning the Princeton Collegiate Institute, (removed from the minute books), undated, and dated 1890-1913. Includes two letters concerning the consolidation between KCW and the Princeton Collegiate Institute
Volume 1Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Collegiate Institute, 1889-1910
Volume 2Minutes of the Board of Trustees of the Princeton Collegiate Institute, 1910-1913
Series D Miscellaneous Reports
Folder 1Miscellaneous reports concerning KCW, 1913-1925
Series E Miscellaneous Papers
Folder 1Miscellaneous papers concerning the Board of Trustees, Caldwell College, KCW, 1919
CC-102 President's Office
Series CC-102.1 Early Presidential Correspondence, 1854-1902
Folder 1Currently empty
Series CC-102.2 John C. Acheson Papers (1902-1914)
Folder 1Correspondence, undated and dated 1903-1914
Series CC-102.3 (Mrs.) Frances S. Riher, 1914-1915
Folder 1Correspondence, 1914-1915
Series CC-102.4 M. Marshall Allen Papers (1915-1922)
Folder 1Correspondence, undated and dated September-December, 1915
Folder 2Correspondence, undated and dated January, 1916
Folder 3Correspondence, February 1-15, 1916
Folder 4Correspondence, February 16-29, 1916
Folder 5Correspondence, March 1-14-1916
Folder 6Correspondence, March 16-31, 1916
Folder 7Correspondence, April 1-28, 1916
Folder 8Correspondence, May 1-15, 1916
Folder 9Correspondence, May 16-31, 1916
Folder 10Correspondence, June 1-15, 1916
Folder 11Correspondence, June 16-21, 1916
Folder 12Correspondence, June 22-30, 1916
Folder 13Correspondence, July, 1916
Folder 14Correspondence, August 1-15, 1916
Folder 15Correspondence, August 16-31, 1916
Folder 16Correspondence, October 1916, 1917-1918
Folder 17Correspondence, February-June, 1919
Folder 18Correspondence, July 1-August 10, 1919
Folder 19Correspondence, August 11-30, 1919
Folder 20Correspondence, undated, and dated March-July 1920
Folder 21Correspondence, August 3-14, 1920
Folder 22Correspondence, August 16-31, 1920
Folder 23Correspondence, September, 1920-May, 1922
Series CC-102.5 John C. Acheson Papers (1922-1925)
Folder 1Correspondence, undated, and dated January, May, June 1-22, 1922
Folder 2Correspondence, June 23 - July 7, 1922
Folder 3Correspondence, July 8-12, 1922
Folder 4Correspondence, July 13-17, 1922
Folder 5Correspondence, July 18-20, 1922
Folder 6Correspondence, July 21-26, 1922
Folder 7Correspondence, July 27-30, 1922
Folder 8Correspondence, August 1-10, 1922
Folder 9Correspondence, August 11-16, 1922
Folder 10Correspondence, August 17-19, 1922
Folder 11Correspondence, August 21-26, 1922
Folder 12Correspondence, August 28-31, 1922
Folder 13Correspondence, September 1-6, 1922
Folder 14Correspondence, September 7-14, 1922
Folder 15Correspondence, September 15-22, 1922
Folder 16Correspondence, September 23-27, 1922
Folder 17Correspondence, September 28-October 5, 1922
Folder 18Correspondence, October 6-14, 1922
Folder 19Correspondence, October 16-31, 1922
Folder 20Correspondence, November 1-15, 1922
Folder 21Correspondence, November 18-December 7, 1922
Folder 22Correspondence, December 18-29, 1922
Folder 23Correspondence, January 2-20, 1923
Folder 24Correspondence, January 22-February 7, 1923
Folder 25Correspondence, February 8-20, 1923
Folder 26Correspondence, February 21-27, 1923
Folder 27Correspondence, March 1-7, 1923
Folder 28Correspondence, March 8-15, 1923
Folder 29Correspondence, March 16-24, 1923
Folder 30Correspondence, March 26-April 7, 1923
Folder 31Correspondence, April 9-28, 1923
Folder 32Correspondence, May 1-15, 1923
Folder 33Correspondence, May 18-31, 1923
Folder 34Correspondence, June 1-19, 1923
Folder 35Correspondence, June 21-July 14, 1923
Folder 36Correspondence, July 16-31, 1923
Folder 37Correspondence, August 2-14, 1923
Series CC-102.6 Paul B. Boyd Papers (1925)
Folder 1Correspondence, reports, July, 1924-June, 1925
CC-103 Dean's Office
Series CC-103.1 Ruth Andrus Papers
Folder 1Correspondence, August, 1915-March, 1916
Folder 2Correspondence, April-May, 1916
Folder 3Correspondence, June-September, 1916
Folder 4Correspondence, October-November, 1916; February-March, August, 1917; August-September, 1918; February, 1919
Folder 5Correspondence, April 2-May 19, 1919
Folder 6Correspondence, May 21-30, 1919
Folder 7Correspondence, June-July, 1919
Folder 8Correspondence, August, 1919
Folder 9Correspondence, June-August, 1920
Folder 10Correspondence, September, 1920
Folder 11Correspondence, June, 1922
Series CC-103.2 Mary Ashby Cheek Papers
Folder 1Correspondence, August, 1922-January, 1923; June-August, 1923
Folder 2Grade Book, 1923-24; Obituary (April 19, 1988); Program from memorial services
Series CC-103.3 Ina A. Milroy Papers (acting Dean)
Folder 1Correspondence, July 21, 1924
CC-104 Registration and Class Records
Series A Class Records
Volume 1Class Records, Caldwell College, 1904-1905; same records for 1905-1906; 1908-1911. Undated matriculation record (except for two papers, dated 1909-1910), probably from same date span
Volume 2Class Records, Caldwell College, 1911-1913. Also contains undated class lists
Volume 3Class Records, Kentucky College for Women, 1913-1914. Also contains a record of signouts for women students, 1915-1918; various lists of officers of organizations, honor rolls, calendars of events, 1915-1919
Volume 4Class Records, Kentucky College for Women, 1922-1925. Divided by subject; records for high school/preparatory school in back of volume
Volume 5Class Records, 1913-1922. Divided by subject
Folder 1Miscellaneous grade reports, transcripts, 1905-1906; 1918
Series B Class and Student Lists
Folder 1Class/student lists, undated, and dates 1912-1913; 1915-1917; 1922-1923; 1924-1925. Class of 1911 update (Dec. 4, 1942)
Volume 1Lists of graduates/non-graduates for Caldwell College/Kentucky College for Women covering period 1861-1920. Handwritten volume, also contains some listing of students attending Bell Seminary
Series C Miscellaneous
Folder 1Miscellaneous papers concerning college registrations, undated, and dated 1915-1916
Series D Admissions Documents
Folder 1Miscellaneous documents concerning admissions, prospective students. Also includes entrance certificates/grades from other colleges for the following KCW students:
  Allen, Julia
Broadwell, Marguerite
Durham, Louise P.
Givens, Isabella
Redd, Zillah
Wells, Mary M.
CC-105 Financial Records
Series A Ledger Listings and Financial Statements
Folder 1Miscellaneous financial ledger listings/financial statements, June-December, 1915
Folder 2Miscellaneous financial statements - consisting mostly of accounts paid and accounts receivable, January, 1916-July, 1922
Folder 3Miscellaneous financial ledger listings/financial statements, January, 1923-July, 1925
Series B Receipts and Disbursements
Folder 1Annual statements of receipts and disbursements, 1903-1907
Folder 2Annual statements of receipts and disbursements, 1913-1914; 1919-1924
Folder 3Monthly statements of receipts and disbursements, June, 1918-August, 1919
Folder 4Monthly statements of receipts and disbursements, September, 1919-May 1920
Folder 5Monthly statements of receipts and disbursements, September, 1920-May, 1922
Folder 6Monthly statements of receipts and disbursements, June, 1922-June, August, 1924
Series C Miscellaneous
Volume 1Report of Detailed Audit, KCW, July 1, 1924-September 25, 1925
Folder 1Miscellaneous invoices concerning KCW, undated and dated 1911, 1915-1916; 1818-1919; 1923
Folder 2Miscellaneous lists of expenses, undated and dated 1914-1917; 1923
Folder 3Receipts, expenses, ticket sales, subscriptions to KCW Artist Series, undated, and dated 1913-1916
Series D Subscriptions
Folder 1Miscellaneous documents (including promissory notes) related to raising subscriptions for KCW endowment, undated, and dated 1907-1925
Folder 2Subscription lists/lists of contributors, undated and dated 1906-1907; 1925
CC-106 Building Proposals and Estimates
Folder 1Miscellaneous building proposals, estimates and specification, undated, and dated 1905-1916
 See also CC-40.3 Weisiger ground-breaking exercises (record)
CC-107 Presbyterian Synods
Folder 1Reports and applications to the College Board, undated, and dated 1904-1906
Folder 2Reports and applications to the College Board, 1907, 1915-1916
Folder 3Reports and applications to the College Board, 1916-1920
Folder 4Reports and applications to the College Board, 1920-1925
Folder 5Reports by committees to the Synods, 1906, 1914. Includes reports concerning the joint control of the college by the Presbyterian Church, U.S., and the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A.
Folder 6Miscellaneous materials concerning Caldwell College and the Synods, undated, and dated 1903
CC-108 Faculty and Staff
Series CC-108.1 Faculty
Folder 1Lists of faculty members, undated, and dated 1913-1917
Folder 2Miscellaneous course descriptions and text assignments, undated, and dated 1924-1925
Folder 3Miscellaneous faculty correspondence, minutes, resolutions
Volume 1Miscellaneous faculty minutes, 1919-1922; 1927-1931
Series CC-108.2 Food Services
Folder 1Miscellaneous correspondence and lists concerning the operation of the food service (and possibly also the domestic Service Dept.) at KCW, undated, and dated 1915-1916; 1923; 1925
Series CC-108.3 Physical Education
Folder 1Correspondence concerning Physical Education/Sports at KCW, 1916. Most concern a proposed basketball game with the University of Kentucky
CC-109 Library
Series A Correspondence/Miscellaneous
Folder 1Miscellaneous library correspondence, 1920, 1922
Series B Accession Books
Volume 1Library Accession Book - Accessions 1-1000
Volume 2Library Accession Book - Accessions 1,001-2,026
Volume 3Library Accession Book - Accessions 2,027-3,000
CC-110 Autograph Books/Scrapbooks
Volume 1Autograph Book, Fannie H. Lucas (Class of 1868), 1861-1868
Volume 2Autograph Book, Lizzie B. Scott (Class of 1872), 1862-1871
Volume 3Scrapbook, Augusta Rogers (Class of 1914)
Volume 4KCW Way, 1929-36, 1939-42
CC-111 Miscellaneous Reports
Folder 1Miscellaneous reports concerning KCW, 1906-1924
CC-112 Programs
Series CC-112.1 Commencement/Baccalaureate/Class Day Programs
Folder 1
  • Commencement/Baccalaureate/Class Day programs
  • Class Day: 1899, 1901, 1903
  • Baccalaureate: 1903
  • Commencement: 1861, 1870, 1874, 1885, 1901, 1902-1904, 1906
  • Invitations: 1892
Folder 2
  • Commencement/Baccalaureate/Class Day programs
  • Class Day: 1915-1916, 1918
  • Baccalaureate: 1915
  • Announcements: 1912
  • Invitations/Class Cards: 1914-1915, 1918
  • Commencement: 1911, 1915-1916, 1918
Folder 3
  • Commencement/Baccalaureate/Class Day programs
  • Class Day: 1920
  • Baccalaureate: 1923
  • Commencement: 1919-1920, 1922, 1924-1925
  • College Prep: 1919, 1921-1925
  • Invitations: 1922
Series CC-112.2 Concert/Recital Programs
Folder 1Concerts and Recitals by KCW students and visiting artists, undated, and dated between June, 1890 - April, 1915
Folder 2Concerts and Recitals by KCW students and visiting artists, dates inclusive: May, 1915-March, 1922
Folder 3Concerts and Recitals, 1923-1925
 Note: See also CC-115, Oversize and Miscellaneous for concert tickets; a poster of the glee club, and other related items
Series CC-112.3 Theater Programs
Folder 1Theater productions, with faculty or students of KCW, most undated; others dated from 1911, 1915, 1926
Series CC-112.4 Miscellaneous Programs
Folder 1Miscellaneous programs from KCW, grouped together by type of event, then arranged chronologically. Contains programs of athletic association banquets, 1913-1914; alumni banquets, undated, and dated 1916; May Day/Spring Festival programs, 1920, 1923, 1925. Also contains announcement for a 1914 alumni banquet. Also contains an announcement of a basketball game, undated
CC-113 Student Affairs
Folder 1Student housing lists, undated, and dated 1914-1916
Folder 2College/dormitory rules, undated, and dated 1915-1916
Folder 3Miscellaneous items concerning student activities including a constitution of the Student Government Association; students cost for plays; address by Emily R. Cowan, Valedictorian, June 4, 1889. Photo of painting by Grace Spinning (1900)
Folder 4Miscellaneous student health certificates, 1940-41
Folder 5Miscellaneous typed copies of KCW song lyrics
CC-114 Publicity and Literature
Folder 1New releases, notices intended for newspapers, most undated, others dated 1916
Folder 2Newspaper ads for KCW, undated, and dated 1913-1916
Folder 3Miscellaneous general literature - brochures and pamphlets concerning Caldwell College/KCW, 1905, 1906, 1911-1916, 1925
Folder 4Miscellaneous general literature - photobooklets concerning KCW, 1913, 1915
Folder 5Miscellaneous general literature - photobooklets concerning KCW, 1910, 1925
CC-115 Oversize
Folder 1Material in this collection has been moved to CC-25
CC-116 Student Collections
Folder 1Letter from "Annie"" to mother, dated April 22, 1864 (photocopy)
Folder 2Lula Mills (Caldwell College, Class of 1906). Includes Caldwell College Preparatory Department grade reports, 1896-1897; alumni luncheon pins
Box 1Mary and Bernice Arnold. Includes photograph of Bernice Arnold as Carnival queen (1928); tiara worn in the portrait; two class notebooks from Mary Arnold (Biology 1-2 and Spoken English); three pages of class notes from Mary Arnold.